As Festival Mata Air was an event focussed on bringing community together to create local environmental and social awareness, this meant there was an array of artistic and environmentally conscious groups at the festival. One that I found particularly intriguing was Terasmitra. During our visit in Indonesia, I had the pleasure of interviewing representatives, Sofia and Kiki and gaining an in-depth knowledge of what their company represented.
Terasmitra’s ultimate goal is ensuring that small communities market their product successfully in order to be adequately paid for their day-to-day needs.
Its primary areas of focus are on craft, food, eco tourism and knowledge management. Terasmitra actively markets its brand online via Facebook and offline by attending festivals, events and exhibitions. In order to achieve its vision and in line with its environmental values, it actively uses local resources. Empowering women by encouraging them in the workforce is another initiative that accesses community resources and ultimately reinforces its sustainability ethos. Again, highlighting its commitment to its goal, Terasmitra works with companies that have been given benefits from the Small Grants Programme.
At the festival, Terasmitra had a range of products on display. Extremely striking was a range of hand-woven products, which included pencil cases and bags. Intrigued by these I asked about their origins. It was explained that one of Terasmitra’s partners is “House of Lawe”. Based in Yogjakarta, Lawe was founded in 2004 by five women who were concerned about losing the traditional craft of weaving. Terasmitra’s role in this partnership is to “help entrepreneurs market their products” as Kiki states in the interview. This not only ensures that the cultural connection and tradition is kept alive, but also secures financial benefits. The ethos of Lawe is one of encouragement. In particular, the value of the product increases because of the effort put into its creation.
The women who work at Lawe, work collaboratively to ensure that the raw materials used to make up the end product are not wasted – for example even small scraps of the woven fabric “lurik” (House of Lawe) are put to use by making crafts for a temple or collages for children. Sofia and Kiki state that the main environmental concerns in Indonesia are trash and air pollution. To address this, Lawe implements several waste management strategies. One of its most significant and innovative strategies is its collaboration with researchers directed at harnessing a waste management solution in regards to synthetic dyes. These dyes are inexpensive and can be used widely, so solutions to make these environmentally compatible are critical.
(House of Lawe, 2015)
Terasmitra’s ethical ideologies coupled with carefully selected partners in different fields, ultimately works towards creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future. It is also a valuable lesson in how environmentally sustainable solutions do not need to be sacrificed for commercial success.
References About 2015, [Homepage of House of Lawe], [Online]. Available: http://www.houseoflawe.com/. Association Lawe2015, 28 June-last update [Homepage of Terasmitra], [Online]. Available: http://www.terasmitra.com/news/perhimpunan-lawe [2016, 4th of April].
Association Lawe2015, 28 June-last update [Homepage of Terasmitra], [Online]. Available: http://www.terasmitra.com/about-us [2016, 4th of April].
Henry, W. 2015, Dec 2015-last update, THE IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT OF WHAT WE WEAR [Homepage of The Shed Online], [Online]. Available: https://www.theshedonline.org.au/activities/activity/impact-of-what-we-wear [2016, 1st of April].
Higgins, A., Ossedryver, S., Villanueva, C. (2016, February 21). Personal Interview w/ Terasmitra.